RE: virus: The One or the Many?

Brett Lane Robertson (
Sun, 19 Oct 1997 14:09:06 -0500

Nope, I agree with you. I (and in this I am attempting to define
something which may some day actually be identified) see memes as the
last mental stage before a conscious, physical, behavioral action. As
such, I remove memes from habitual and/or autonomous behaviors (although
I do not remove them from any part in setting up such habits). I place
memes entirely in the host brain, and view cultural artifacts as memetic
stimuli...But no meme is required to pull one's hand away from a
>fire, although a learning pattern is. (Fire is hot, ouch.)...And this is
the way we train dogs. Food is good, yum, jump through hoop, more
food...That there is a cultural analog (religion/happiness/properbodyodor?)
to dog training is memetics, AFAIK

Wade T. Smith

Then would you be willing to go one step further and say that memetics
illustrates the evolution from animal (dog) to human; in that, "training"
similar to "learning" creates the meme whose next "stage" is "conscious,
physical, behavioral action"?

If the meme is what borders (not-habitual and not-autonomous) human and
animal learning/training...then YES, what is most simplified for the human
would be most complicated for the animal. But does memetics thereby lose
it's say in evolution appealing to the "cause" of human action but being
only the effect of the animal?

Are you saying that genes are the determinant for "animal" evolution and
memes are the basis of humanity...choice, will, force...? I still think
that you are missing some basic behaviors which are memetically determined
for us and the animals: order, specialization, self-awareness, safety, and
group specifically. I will continue to say that memes are basic to behavior
and are the simplest example of any behavior pattern which can (in
retrospect) be studied.


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